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Audio CD, Import, 19 April 2019
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- Product Dimensions : 12.9 x 12.9 x 0.3 cm; 53.86 Grams
- Manufacturer : NONESUCH
- Original Release Date : 2019
- Run time : 1 hour and 4 minutes
- Label : NONESUCH
- ASIN : B07NRJ2JLH
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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New Amsterdam Records est un jeune label américain qui met à l'honneur les musiciens de formation classique tissant les liens avec d'autres genres musicaux. Le label inaugure ici sa première collaboration avec Nonesuch Records et Warner Music.
La compositrice américaine Caroline Shaw est avant tout chanteuse dans l'ensemble Roomful of Teeth qui a remporté un Grammy Award, et pour lequel elle a écrit la pièce "Partita" qui lui a valu le Prix Pulitzer aux Etats-Unis. Shaw a travaillé avec des artistes aussi divers et réputés que Kaye West, Nas, The National, Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw... Elle est également violoniste et a notamment joué en formation de quatuor, ce qui l'a amenée à concevoir le recueil de pièces pour quatuor à cordes intitulé "Orange". Ce recueil, joué ici par Attacca Quartet, suit les pas des grands aînés Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Bartok, tout en apportant un nouveau souffle à ce répertoire, à partir d'une célébration de la beauté simple et naturelle des choses du quotidien. La pièce maîtresse de cet album, "Plan & Elevation", est formée de différents épisodes dont les noms sont tirés des fameux jardins d'Umbarton Oaks.
Attacca Quartet, formé au début des années 2000, est actuellement l'un des quatuors les plus en vue Outre-Atlantique.
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String quartets are often seen as the testing ground for composers and the whole oeuvre is something where the likes of Beethoven and Bartok have produced what are seen as defining statements. It is largely unfamiliar territory for me as my taste in Classical Music tends to be the 20th century material but there is something about Early and Baroque music which appeals too - I think the use of a ground bass and the way some composers of Bach's generation seemed to produce work which came out of an improvised process resonates because my main passion in music is jazz. Caroline Shaw's music clearly has a healthy does of indebtedness to this ear of composition yet the music is delivered with an attack and timbre which owes a lot to contemporary music. Elements of the material are intensively lyrical whereas the extensive use of pizzicato makes the music extremely visceral at the same time. There are also elements where the music almost becomes microtonal.
You could throw all sorts of positive adjectives about this music. I like the comment in the review that the works on here are a love letter to the String Quartet yet this does not do the music justice. For me, this is both a statement of what a string quartet is capable of being as well as seeing to be wholly relevant to our times. It does not sound overly academic albeit this is far more robust that the simplistic, ethereal and spiritual music which sought to seduce the classical audience to more contemporary composers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. By contrast, Caroline Shaw has composed works for a string quartet which have a pugnacious energy and do not really make any concessions it you have a degree of reticence about contemporary music.
I find contemporary Classical music a strange environment. I am not fussed by some of the more spiritual composers of the last 20-30 years whose work sometimes seems simplistic and out of touch and have also attended concerts where contemporary music has been performed and led me to thinking "what was the point if that?" The music on this disc seems to find a territory where it is not inaccessible yet also capable of delving in to the past and coming up with a solution which is punchy enough to seem totally relevant. Part of the success stems from the fact that Shaw is not trying to prove anything and simply letting this format flex it's muscles. Recommended.